General and Legal News from the UAE – April 2022 № 1


published on 6 April 2022 | reading time approx. 5 minutes


The following provides a brief overview about the latest business, economic and legal news from all around the United Arab Emirates and GCC region.



10 different work permit options that allow you to work in the UAE

In order to be able to pursue a job and work in the UAE foreigners need to obtain a work permit which has to be issued by the according competent authorities. 
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) is the right authority for individuals employed in the private sector by companies on the mainland (not a free zone company). 
The MOHRE offers two different categories of work permits which both offer flexible work options ranging from freelance work to temporary work. All work permits need to be organized and applied for by the company employing the individual except in the case for freelancers where the individual applies individually for the freelance permit. 

The first category includes three different work permit options: 

  1. Work permit under the residence of relative permit: In case the potential employee resides in the UAE under the sponsorship of a family member the company will simply have to apply for a work permit and not act as the sponsor of the potential employee.
  2. Juvenile work permit: This work permit applies to teenagers between the age of 15 to 18 years of age who can be employed at a registered private sector establishment. In this case a written consent from the teenager’s guardian or parent is required. Furthermore, in case of a juvenile work employment, according to UAE law, reduced work hours have to be applied (maximum of 6 hours per day) as well teenagers cannot be employed for hazardous or hard work (UAE Labour Law- Federal Decree Law No.33 of 2021). 
  3. Student training and employment permit: Any UAE resident 15 or above can be employed and trained at a registered company. This permit is specifically for students wishing to enroll in the private sector for training purposes. This work permit is valid for three months. As well as for juvenile work permits the student training and employment permit requires written consent from the guardian or the parent. 

The second category includes seven different options of work permits: 

  1. Work permit (recruiting a worker from outside the State): This work permit allows registered establishments to recruit a worker from outside the state according to a MOHRE statement. In case an individual will be employed from without the country, the potential employee’s establishment will have to apply for such a visa to sponsor the employee. The procedure includes applying for the residence visa, organizing the medical testing, getting the Emirates ID as well as the Labour Card and stamping the UAE residence visa in the employee’s passport within 60 days of the employee’s arrival to the UAE. The employing establishment will bear all costs. The procedure is regulated as per UAE Labour Law. 
  2. Transfer work permits: This work permits allows expatriates to transfer their visa from one establishment to another in case the new establishment is authorized by MOHRE. 
  3. Freelance permit: Individuals can apply for this work permit in case they prefer to work independently and wish to engage in self-employment without the sponsorship of any specific employer. Consequently, in this case there is no UAE employment contract. 
  4. Golden visa work permit: If in possession of a golden visa, employees still require a work permit from a UAE registered establishment. Specific work permits for holders of a golden visa have been announced on 1st July 2021. 
  5. Temporary work permit: A temporary work permit gives the employees the option to legally work with a new employer. The period of temporary employment should not exceed six months. 
  6. One-mission permit: According to a MOHRE statement this kind of work permit is “issued to a registered establishment wishing to recruit a worker from abroad to complete temporary work or a particular project for a specific time period”. 
  7. Part-time work permit: An individual employee can work for more than one employer with a part-time work permit without prior approval of the original employer. Working hours should however not be no less than 20 hours weekly. 

Saudi Arabia opens to tourists with US, UK, and Schengen visas

Three weeks ago, as part of an easing of the travel restrictions that had been put in place for Covid-19 Saudi Arabia is opening to tourists with US, UK, and Schengen visas. Passenger with these valid visas will receive visas on arrival as the state news agency has reported. 
Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism was quoted as per the Saudi Press Agency saying “Reinstating the visa-on-arrival program marks the final step in returning Saudi to a pre-pandemic level of openness and makes it one of the most accessible destinations in the world for leisure, business and religious travel. This decision by the government will further support the many thousands of people who depend on tourism for their livelihoods while welcoming the world back to the destination with the war, hospitality for which the Saudi people are renowned.” 
Further steps of the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions include that arriving passengers in Saudi Arabia no longer have to quarantine. Nor do they have to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and no longer must produce a negative PCR test before their travel. 
Moreover, direct flights from and to the following countries have been resumed: Afghanistan, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 
To the citizens of the following countries Saudi Arabia offers visas on arrival for 12  months: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Ukraine, US, UK. 
It is also possible for other citizens of other countries to get a visa upon arrival. That is the case if the concerned citizens hold a valid Schengen, UK or US visa and travel through those countries to Saudi Arabia on a Saudi national airline (Saudia, Flynas, Flyadeal). 
However, any arriving passenger must possess a health insurance which includes a coverage for Covid-19 related expenses. All travelers can also purchase this kind of health insurance at any arrival airport in Saudi Arabia.   
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